As part of Mattel’s Barbie Inspiring Women series, icons from all arenas of life, including sport, are being made into Barbie dolls. One of the group is former Chinese women’s national team captain Hui Ruoqi, who won gold at the 2016 Olympics and retired in February at age 26 citing injury issues including heart problems.
The Inspiring Women or Role Models series includes at least 19 new Barbie dolls. Athletes include Ruoqi, snowboarding champ Chloe Kim and gymnast Gabby Douglas as well as Nicola Adams Obe (Boxing) and Ibtihaj Muhammad (fencing), Misty Copeland and Yuan Yuan Tan (ballet) and Sara Gama (soccer). Reportedly, Cagla Kubat (windsurfing) and Lorena Ochoa (golf) are also slated to be included in the series.
Pioneers of various professions, including Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, conservationist Bindi Irwin, pilot Amelia Earhart and NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, also are among the featured role models. Johnson was recently featured in the movie Hidden Figures.
Barbie announced the series with a video on International Women’s Day on March 6.
In honor of #InternationalWomensDay, we are committed to shining a light on empowering female role models past and present in an effort to inspire more girls.
Join the conversation by sharing your role models using #MoreRoleModels. pic.twitter.com/5oJnZywk7s
— Barbie (@Barbie) March 6, 2018
In the bio that accompanies Ruoqi’s Barbie, it states:
“Hui Ruoqi is a female Chinese volleyball player. She is the fifteenth captain of the Chinese women’s national volleyball team and won gold at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games. Ruoqi has also won several world medals including a silver medal at the World Cup and a silver medal at the World Championships, in addition to several individual awards during her career.
“In April 2017, she established the Hui Ruoqi Women’s Volleyball Development Fund, which helps the outstanding athletes and coaches who have made great contributions to the development of volleyball.
“Ruoqi is popularizing volleyball sports in her own way and continues to chase the “faster, higher, stronger” spirit in other arenas. She formed a huge volunteer support team to visit the remote mountainous areas of Qinghai to assist with educational activities. In the future, she wants to continue using sports to solve social problems.”